A CITY official announced Friday that the cloud seeding operations to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Zamboanga City will start Saturday.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the Cesna plane to be used by the cloud seeding team in its flying sorties has arrived here Friday.

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Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification whereby salt crystals are released into a cloud with the used of airplanes.

The particles of the salt crystals grow until they are large enough to cause precipitation to form water.

Palacat said the cloud seeding operation will be a joint effort of his office, the DA, as well as the Philippine Atmospheric Geophisycal and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Palacat said the Pagasa personnel will assist the cloud seeding team to determine the wind direction to ensure the rain will fall in its intended place.

The DA has allocated P2.7 million for the conduct of cloud seeding operations in this city and other parts of Zamboanga Peninsula.

The cloud seeding team of the DA is expected to conduct at least 70 flying sorties to help induce artificial rain in areas hardest hit by the drought.

The cloud seeding operation is aimed to help alleviate the plight of the farmers who were greatly affected by the El Niño phenomenon. (Bong Garcia)